Integral Ad Science has worked out the science behind "suitability" of the news. That's right, folks, we've absolutely got to make sure the news is safe for the advertisors. After all, the news is above all an industry, right? And really, that's the frightening part. Like any industry (whether it's the law enforcement industry, the health industry, the penal industry) they are going to be concerned with customer retention and market growth. Thanks to IAS algorithms and bots may soon deciding what's, if not newsworthy, at least "advertisor friendly."
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IAS' job is to "check the sensitivity" of news stories so that they can be considered "safe for advertisers." "Unsafe" articles can be automatically unpublished. Dropped straight down the memory hole if they could possibly damage some corporate honcho's bottom line. Already, news venues, <a href="http://www.emgigroup.com/2017/09/14/facebook-announces-new-guidelines-on-content-monetization-and-advertising-censorship/">social media giants like Facebook</a> and oters have given in to the auto-censoring software.
I'll never forget the first time I saw the Morning Joe show, for instance. I knew it was the beginning of the end for journalistic integrity. Sipping Starbucks while jabbing about the news may seem innocuous, but news purveyors have a greater responsibility to their audience than to their advertisors. I'm old fashioned that way, I guess. Washington Post, believe it or not, once had certain standards they set for themselves. They were never to be beholden to any corporate or political power. Of course these days, now that CIA has a $600M contract with WaPo/Amazon those standards have been thrown out the window. If existence of firms like IAS are any indication, this is just the beginning of a sort of auto-ban or immediate censorship of "unsafe news."
Integral Ad Science is in the business of "making sure the news is safe for advertisers." Imagine this scenario: journalist pens breaking news story, but before it is even handed over to a human editor the algorithmic bot on the other end of the plastic screen pops up, like Hal 9000. "I'm sorry, reporter, but I can't let you do that. Our research shows that covering topics like these will decrease our advertisers' revenue." Because, face it, today the news is more in the business of doctoring narratives and shaping public opinion to the agenda. Oh, that and selling Doritos of course.
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